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Columbus, Ohio help

I'm planning to visit Columbus from New York. I'm looking for restaurants whose chefs use fresh locally sourced ingredients somewhat creatively. Also, we'd prefer fish and vegetables more than meat - so don't want steakhouses.

Any help will be appreciated!

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  1. Hmmmm, we have a few places here in town.

    Now is your frame of reference Manhattan? If so, while C-bus is swinging, you may have to temper your expectations to NYC.

    Some places to look into are:

    Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams (Go with free time and try as many as you would like before ordering) http://www.jenis.com/

    Northstar Cafe (cheaper best locally sourced meal, great for quicker breakfast or lunch) http://www.thenorthstarcafe.com/cafes...

    Knead (modern diner open lunch and dinner, closed Sunday & Monday) http://www.kneadonhigh.com/

    North Market (indoor farmers market and food stalls, nothing really open sunday, closes ~7PM) http://www.northmarket.com/

    Explorers Club (somewhat exotic foods) http://www.explorersclubmv.com/

    Skillet Rustic. Urban. Food. http://www.skilletruf.com/

    Cleaver Crow Pizza http://www.clevercrowpizza.com/

    Columbus various Food trucks http://streeteatscolumbus.com/

    1. You've had some good advice so far.

      To that list I'd add Harvest: http://harvestpizzeria.com/

      1. Both Skillet and Harvest are excellent recommendations and are reasonably priced.

        If you're looking for something a bit more upscale, try Basi (http://basi-italia.com/) or Refectory (http://www.therefectoryrestaurant.com/).

        1. Well, Columbus, OH isn't exactly known for it's access to bodies of water and fishing... so local fish (beyond Lake Erie Walleye) will be a bit of a stretch. However, you've gotten some great recommendations of places that strive for seasonal and local - in particular Skillet (they don't even do lemons in their water - though it's important to note they do not have a liquor license), and Knead, which is all about keeping their food local. Both are more casual, cafe-diner style places.

          Rigsby's & Basi both have fish on their menus - if the weather is good, Basi has a killer patio.

          L'antibes has lovely food, leaning a little French. De Novo has an interesting menu & great bar for brown liquor; Sidebar 221 is one of the prettiest bars in the city and has a lot of romance. Milestone 221 is right on the river downtown, has a HUGE patio, and also strives for a certain degree of local.

          Everyone's definition of "creative" is different - sometimes creative isn't tasty at all. All these places have great food.

          Oh - and if you're going to be around long enough, try a Columbus Food Adventures tour - they do walking tours of the Short North & German Village respectively, as well as taco truck tours, and ethnic eats tours. I've been on a bunch of them, and it's a lot of fun.

          1. I'd recommend Worthington Inn (www.worthingtoninn.com) - the chef is great and very intent on local ingredients. They also have a great patio and bar.

            Also, Alana's Food and Wine is very good and has an eclectic local menu. www.alanas.com

            Sage Bistro is another great option. www.sageamericanbistro.com

            All three are great and you've also got some other wonderful recommendations. They all use local foods creatively and have nice atmospheres.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Lauren in OH

              Which should I choose for a special birthday which will fall during our stay in Columbus? Upscale is fine - very best food!

              1. re: nyperr

                Our favorite special occasion places have been Rigsby's and Lindey's, though I don't know that either focuses particularly on local ingredients. At both we've had lovely evenings with thoughtfully-prepared food and great service. Both do well on the fish and vegetables front. If the weather is nice, the patio at Lindey's is lovely.

              2. re: Lauren in OH

                I agree with nc213 on Lindey's patio, although my recent meals there haven't blown me away. The atmosphere and service are wonderful, though. I think I'd choose Sage or Worthington Inn for a birthday. Worthington Inn has a pretty outdoor area if the weather is nice. Sage doesn't have outdoor seating but the food is really creative and it's festive and fun as far as atmosphere.

              3. I'm trying to narrow the list to 3 best places...which do you thing are the best of below?

                G Michael
                Rigsby's
                The Pearl
                Sage Bistro
                Alana's Food and Wine
                Basi
                Alana's Food and Wine
                M
                Gallerie bar and bistro (Hilton)

                3 Replies
                1. re: nyperr

                  Well, I would eliminate M and Gallerie. Nothing wrong with them but I don't think they're super special. Gallerie has the same chef as Sage but Sage is better to me. I'd do G. Michael's because it's in a charming neighborhood and the food and atmosphere are great. I'd do Sage and Alana's as my other two because if you like creative, local food they have it. None of these would be bad choices and Rigsby's is also in a nice neighborhood for walking around, shopping, etc. Pearl is also there and I've heard great things but if you're from NYC I've heard it is basically a copy of The Dutch. I hate Basi because it's so crowded to me but maybe it wouldn't seem that way if you're used to NYC.

                  1. re: nyperr

                    I'd second the last poster on eliminating M and Gallerie. I would think that The Pearl is nothing special if you're from NY. (It's new for C-bus, but it's nothing that Balthazar didn't do fifteen years ago.)

                    That leaves G Michael, Rigsby's, Sage, Alana's and Basi.
                    I haven't been to Alana's, so I may be missing something there, but I've heard that the quality isn't what it used to be.

                    I would go with G. Michael, Rigsby's and Sage, though I'd have Basi as a close fourth.

                    1. re: nyperr

                      I would throw Barcelona's in there too... they have great stuff like Paella and other Spanish dishes, so it is light on the red meat... And their patio this time of year is spectacular. Till is also another great option .